Fleet of foot and with the heart of the cards, he may be the fastest otaku in the world.

With the 2024 Summer Olympics set to open next month, nations around the world are finalizing their rosters of athletes they’ll be sending to Paris for the Games. To that end, the United States Olympic track and field trials are going on right now in Eugene, Oregon, where one of the sprinters vying to make the team is Noah Lyles.

Lyles appears to take a good-luck charm with him onto the track for important competitions, and he showed his off for the camera before a preliminary round of the men’s 100-meter dash. But unlike most other athletes, Lyle’s good-luck charm is a Yu-Gi-Oh! card!

As the cameraman approached Lyles at the starters’ blocks, the 26-year-old Florida native reached into his uniform shirt and pulled out a Blue-Eyes White Dragon card. He then tucked it back into place, took his stance, and won the race, advancing to the next round.

Lyles wasn’t done showing off his speed or his love for Yu-Gi-Oh!, though. When the time came for the semi-finals, Lyles running gear once again included a Duelist’s card…

…this time the mighty Exodia the Forbidden One, which, when combined with the other parts of the creature, instantly wins the match for its player.

Despite having only one of the five Exodia cards, Lyles still finished first in the semi-final race. Later that day, presumably with Exodia still on his person, Lyles pulled off a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the finals, posting a personal-best time of 9.83 seconds in the 100 meters and securing his spot to compete in the event for the U.S. in Paris.

Exodia might not be Lyles’ last card to play to play at the trials either. Next weekend he’ll be running in the 200-meter dash as well, and considering what a huge Yu-Gi-Oh! fan he obviously is, it’s a sure bet he’s got at least one more cool card lying around, so we’ll have to keep our eyes on him to see which one he pulls out next.

Source: Twitter/@NBCSports via Otakomu, The Guardian
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